AI Art generators are quickly becoming useful tools for a variety of professions. In the profession of architecture and design, AI art generators are proving to be extremely useful tools for exploring design concepts and merging architectural ideas.
By simply inputting a line of text into a prompt, I can create incredible visuals in just a matter of seconds!
Before we jump in to this discussion, I’ll save you some time. Here are the top 3 best AI art generators for architects and designers.
(But if you want to know why I’m recommending these… keep reading!)
Best AI Art Generator from Photo
Best AI Art Generator from Text
Best Free AI Art Generator
Perhaps you’ve already experimented with “designing” buildings using AI Art Generators, and you’re looking to optimize your process. Or maybe you’ve heard about AI for Architecture, but you haven’t taken the time yet to try out any AI software.
Well, look no further — here’s everything to know about the Best AI Art Generators for Architects and Designers.
What are AI Art Generators?
AI Art Generators are bots that operate via an algorithm that plugs into a massive neural network of information and images. When the user inputs text into a prompt or uploads a custom image, the AI Art Generator can reinterpret the given information and formulate a completely new graphic result. The creative possibilities are literally endless, and AI Art generators are taking the digital art world by storm.
As an extension of “AI Art Generators”, integrating architecture into the equation would inherently suggest that they be called “AI Architecture Generators”.
What are AI Architecture Generators?
Integrating architecture into the AI art generation process, the term “AI Architecture Generator” can be coined as a phrase to group AI software together that is used specifically for architecture and design. For example, AI that integrates with 3D modeling programs like AutoCAD, Revit, Rhino, or Sketchup — which are commonly used for architectural design — could be considered “AI Architecture Generators”.
However, it must be understood that AI by itself cannot create architecture. Since designing architecture is an innately human undertaking, it’s important to realize that AI is simply a tool to be used for assisting in the creation of architecture.
Text-Based AI Art Prompts
At their core, a user simply inputs a “prompt” — or a string of words that describes an image — into an AI Art Generator, and a massive network of graphic content is accessed in a matter of seconds. From there, an algorithm pieces together the the information that the user provided for the prompt, and an image is created from fragments of graphical data. Through a “rendering” process, the AI Art Generator creates a unique image for the user in a matter of seconds to minutes.
It’s actually quite amazing to think about the opportunities that this technology can provide for architects and designers.
We can imagine a new future for the way in which architecture will evolve with so-called AI Architecture Generators — and I’m optimistic that the integration of AI in architecture will be welcomed as a way to facilitate better design processes.
So, let’s imagine for a second…
What if Frank Lloyd Wright designed a McDonald’s?
I could spend some time thinking about that… Or I could see a visualization of it in just a matter of seconds using any of these AI Art Generators!
But with so many options to choose from… how do these AI Art Generators compare?
Here’s a list of the best AI Art Generators for Architects and Designers.
Disclaimer: Art is subjective. The goal of this list is not only to compare the quality of the art, but to compare the technical aspects of each AI art generator. I’ve used every one of these programs on this list in depth, and I strive to remain unbiased in my rankings.
For this comparison, I will be using the exact same prompt for each AI art generator.
Here’s the prompt I’ll be using:
“Modern McDonald’s restaurant in the architecture style of Frank Lloyd Wright, at the corner of an urban neighborhood with tall buildings in the background on a summer evening, 8K, hyper realistic”
As for the quality of art produced, it will ultimately be up to you to decide which program will best suit your needs.
Take a look at the results, and decide for yourself!
Best AI Art Generators for Architects and Designers
As one of the newest and most viral AI Art generators to enter the tech scene, MidJourney is an “art first” company that opened its beta version to the public in June 2022. MidJourney is a prompt-based AI Art Generator that is accessible via Discord, a community chat app.
Using text-based input, a user can simply enter the phrase “/imagine”, which activates MidJourney’s prompt for inputting text.
What makes MidJourney unique is that it is only currently accessible through the Discord app, via desktop or mobile. Discord’s community platform allows all users in a chat room to see other creator’s art as it is generated in real time. Not only does this encourage sharing and collaboration, but users can easily learn from one another since the exact prompt that every person types is also publicly accessible.
Personally, I have already spent hours picking through this art community, and I’ve gathered a ton of useful advice from other users.
MidJourney AI Art Generator Pricing | (Aug. 2022)
MidJourney offers a “fast GPU Time” service with all of their plans, but the “fast” rendering time is capped at a maximum time per month/year. Once the “Fast GPU Time” is used up, MidJourney will used a slower rendering speed called “Relaxed GPU Time”. However, this service is only available to users who have subscribed to the “Standard” and “Corporate” plans.
MidJourney is unique in that it offers a strict requirement for employees of companies that earn revenues of over $1 million per year. These employees must purchase the “Corporate” plan for $600/year.
For most users, the “Free Trial” and “Basic” should suffice. Although these two plans will be limited to using only the time allotted for “Fast GPU” rendering.
For the more ambitious creator, you may consider the “Standard” plan for $30/month, which allows more “fast GPU” rendering time, and unlimited “relaxed” GPU time — which yields endless creativity.
MidJourney is an AI Art Generator that puts community sharing first. With access via discord, users can quickly become immersed in a fast-growing community that learns from one another. At a reasonable price point, users can quickly render out high quality, extremely captivating images. However, there may be a slight learning curve for new users to get a better idea of the prompts that work best with MidJourney.
Night Café easily fits into this list as a highly flexible AI Art Generator that offers users a lot of options in terms of artistic style. After launching in November 2019, Night Café has grown into one of the most popular web-based AI Art Generators for artists and graphic designers, and it has tons of potential to help architects and building designers conceptualize ideas — but Night Café doesn’t stop at just creating static images.
Currently, Night Café offers two creation methods.
The first creation method is a text-to-art prompt, similar to other AI Art Generators on this list. BUT, Night Café also offers a video option! This opens up a lot of doors for architects and designers to actually be able to “move” through the conceptual spaces that this program can create.
The second creation method is called “Style Transfer”, and it offers the ability to stylize an existing image of your choice. Users can use the web interface to upload an image from their device, and select from over 50 preset styles. Similar first creation method mentioned, the “Style Transfer” method also offers the ability to export a video of the creation process. Perfect for video content creators!
The best part is that the user gets full copyright claims over generated photos — so the sky is the limit when it comes to content marketing.
Night Café Price Guide | (Aug. 2022)
Night Café operates on a credit system, where users purchase a certain amount of credits to create art. You can pay a monthly fee for credits, OR you can actually earn free credits in a variety of ways. One way is by simply subscribing to their newsletter, and claiming the 5 free credits that Night Café sends daily. Other methods to earn free credits are by sharing creations on social media, “liking” creations by other users, commenting and receiving comments on creations, and just by simply publishing creations.
So essentially, the more you create and contribute to the art community, the more opportunities you have to earn free credits to keep creating AI art.
If style and flexibility is what you’re seeking, look no further! I love how I can create video content using Night Café, and having options to continue to “evolve” my original rendering is really useful. The user interface is extremely intuitive and easy to use, and every menu is visually-oriented to make evolving my AI art a complete breeze.
Craiyon, formerly known as “Dall-E Mini”, is a text-based AI Art Generator that is completely free to use. As the easiest-to-use AI Art Generator on this list, it’s extremely easy to get started creating art. Simply go to the Craiyon website, you can start inputting text prompts without having to create an account or purchase a plan.
Craiyon is part of the Dall-E Neural network — created by a company called OpenAI. The Dall-E network is one of the most robust networks currently in the AI art world. Craiyon is essentially a “free” version of Dall-E, but the lack of features and customization is quickly apparent.
Unlike other AI Art generators on this list, you won’t have any flexibility to “alter” or “edit” anything once the prompt has been rendered. However, you will receive up to 9 images at after running your text prompt.
Saving images from Craiyon is also seamless using their “screenshot” feature. Once you download the art, you’ll need to crop the image since it downloads with the prompt script as well. The image resolution is quite good — with a size of approximately 3.61 megapixels (1900 x 1900px).
Craiyon is able to keep their AI art free for users by implementing ads on their website.
What I love most about Craiyon is that virtually anybody can have access to the AI art generation world. The “no sign-up” feature is convenient and allows for quick access. However, there is a noticeable lack of features, but this is by design to make it easy to use. Image size is sufficient for high resolution content.
Wonder is another prompt-based AI image generator, but it’s packed into a mobile app. Currently, Wonder is available for iPhone and Android users through the App Store and Google Play. Created by a company named “Codeway” based in Istanbul, Turkey, Wonder provides one of the best user experiences of any AI Art Generator on this list.
To get started, simply download the app, set up an account, and start plugging in prompts to generate stunning artwork. Wonder combines ease-of-use with a plethora of artistic styling options — similar to NightCafé. Rather than having to specify the style in the prompt (e.g, “hyper realistic”, “cinematic”, etc.), you can simply select from a list of stylistic options. These options also display “sample” images of each style, so you get a sense of how it will impact your image prior to rendering it.
Wonder Price Guide | (Aug. 2022)
Pricing for Wonder is free, however you will need to watch a 30-second ad each time you render an image — which can add up to a lot of time creating AI artwork. However, they offer a “Premium” subscription service which can be purchased at $4.99/week or a one-time “lifetime” purchase of $29.99. The “Premium” service will eliminate the need to watch ads while generating art, which can save time.
As for the image output, there are some limitations compared to other AI Art Generators on this list. The free version of Wonder will generate 2 images at a time, each at a resolution of 1024 x 1536 pixels — or approximately 1.57 megapixels.
The user experience with the Wonder app is an absolute pleasure to use, and I love being able to select specific styles to overlay onto my images. They offer a variety of unique image styles, like “bokeh” and “magazine cover” which adds and extra layer to the artwork being created. Personally, I’m always skeptical with “one-time” purchase apps (as I’ve been forced to pay for them again in the future), but at $29.99 there’s a lot of value to gain. The image output is really impressive, and I personally feel that the image rendered is very “accurate” and has incorporated most of the details in the prompt.
Thanks to AI art generators, we can save a ton of time while our imaginations run wild.
With that being said, I’m always looking for ways to increase my productivity when it comes to architectural design. AI Art generators can be an important tool to add to our design process… or at the very least, these “art robots” can help us learn how to better articulate architecture and design.
I’ve become extremely curious about using AI Art Generators in the architectural design process, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Have you used any of the AI art generators on this list? If so, let me know in the comments below!
Jon HenningHi, I'm Jon. I write about emerging technology in architecture, engineering and design, and I want to help you push boundaries with the latest tech trends in the AEC industry.
Want to step up your AI Architecture Visualizations? Grab a copy of my FREE eGuide, which contains over 100 examples of AI Architecture prompts to use with MidJourney 5.